This article is about the Combine helicopter. For the HECU helicopter, see AH-64 Apache.
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Heavy attack helicopter
The Hunter-Chopper is a fast and powerful Combine support helicopter used to provide heavy fire support for Combine forces and, as the name implies, is used for hunting down and destroying Resistance fighters and other targets. Like the Combine APC, this aircraft is a conventional human design (resembling certain modern-day designs like Russian Mi-28 Havoc or American RAH-66 Comanche), but re-imagined by the Combine, using their technology. The most notable change is a large, jet engine-like turbine below the Hunter-Chopper's body, much like that of the Combine Gunship's. Another change is the fact that the rotor tail of the Hunter-Chopper wags back and forth, similar to a shark's tail.
The Hunter-Chopper is crewed by two Overwatch Soldiers, a pilot and a gunner.
The Hunter-Chopper is a fast and maneuverable aircraft armed with a powerful pulse turret which, while imprecise, allows the chopper to attack and damage multiple targets at once. The pulse has at least 3 or 4 settings or variations (two of them may be the same). One requires charging, and fires a 3 second burst; one requires charging and fires a 6-7 second burst; one requires no charging and fires a very long burst; and one (used by Gordon Freeman in a guard tower, and again on his Airboat, may be the same as the previously mentioned) can be fired instantly, the rounds recharge quickly over time rather than having a wind up period.
The Hunter-Chopper can also drop spherical contact mines which detonate after a set timer or on contact with the target. The chopper is also seen firing guided rockets for more accurate and powerful strikes on stationary targets. This is only seen once and never used against Gordon. The Hunter-Chopper can be seen firing these rockets into a ventilation tunnel opening near the end of the Half-Life 2 chapter Black Mesa East.
Hunter-Choppers use the explosive mines as an offensive attack by dropping them directly in front of moving targets and on top of weak structures. The mines are also buoyant, making them quite effective against water-craft. Although it is unclear where or if they are stored in the vehicle, Hunter-Choppers seem to have a large supply of mines and they can be dropped either one at a time or very rapidly, effectively carpet-bombing an entire area.
The Hunter-Chopper is capable of releasing an enormous number of mines without having to resupply. Far more, it would seem, than a vehicle of its size would be capable of physically storing. One theory is that the mines are collapsible, and take up much less space in their 'folded-up' state, and that they 'inflate' as they leave the vehicle. Another theory is that there is some sort of teleportation device stored inside the chopper to constantly provide a steady stream of mines, although this is unlikely, bearing in mind the Combine do not have the technology for local teleportation (unlike the Resistance).
The theory that they're 'inflatable' is consistent with the mines' other characteristics. Namely, that they have a fairly small explosive charge for their size (which suggests the charge is around the rim of the mine, not in the center), and that they float. Both of these facts indicate they're hollow. This is also supported by a dud mine in Episode Two; rather than exploding, it simply falls apart, revealing a completely hollow inside.
On the body can be seen the alphanumerics "V952", also featured on other Combine devices.
The Hunter-Choppers are most often seen in and around City 17 and the Canals searching for refugees attempting to escape the city. On the Coast, however, Hunter-Choppers are rare, where they have been supplanted by Gunships.
Freeman is chased by a Hunter-Chopper throughout his journey through the Canals, which eventually gets defeated thanks to the Airboat's gun near the dam.
Half-Life 2: Episode Two
- Hunter-Choppers takes 55 RPG hits to destroy if spawned with the console (it was never meant to be fought with the RPG besides in Lost Coast), the best advised item to use is the Airboat's gun.
- The Hunter-Chopper is a powerful enemy that's tough to defeat. Keep firing at it. Pieces of the chopper will continue to break off and even an occasional dead Overwatch Soldier will fall out until it crashes.
- After being severely damaged, the Hunter-Chopper will attempt to kill its attacker by releasing its entire payload of mines as a last-ditch effort.
- Much of the time, items used to take the Chopper down will be incidental; for instance, the Hunter-Chopper's own bombs in Episode Two.
|Destroy the Hunter-Chopper.|
|Half-Life 2: Episode Two|
|Puttin' On a Clinic (15G)|
|Defeat the chopper in Episode Two without any misses.|
Behind the scenes
- As the Combine were originally to recycle existing human technology, the original helicopter model was a human one, based on the Soviet military helicopter Ka-27. Another Russian helicopter, the Mil Mi-8, is featured at the end of Episode Two, in White Forest.
- If one is to go to the Half-Life 2 leak canals, the chopper is flying and will shoot at the player, but it will not give chase.
- The game-play mechanic where the Hunter-Chopper will rush towards the player, spewing out bombs came from a bug during development. Programmer Brian Jacobson was writing an attack where the Hunter-Chopper would rush at the player, firing its gun, but accidentally set the unit to drop bombs instead, causing system instability. However, he liked the idea so much that he decided to make it a feature in Half-Life 2, with fewer and more organised bombs. 
- Other than in Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, no Hunter-Choppers are fought with the RPG in the series.
- In the Half-Life 2 chapter Water Hazard, two manned pulse turrets are mounted in the windows of a control tower near a Civil Protection outpost. These weapons appear to be of the same type as the pulse turret on the chopper, but do not need to 'charge up' before firing. Gordon uses these to drive off a Hunter-Chopper. Oddly enough, the Civil Protection officers guarding that tower do not use these turrets, most likely because they cannot see Freeman down in the canals or they were not in the tower at the time.
- In order to destroy the Hunter-Chopper in Episode Two, Gordon must use its contact mines via the Gravity Gun and punt them at the Chopper itself.
- When the Hunter-Chopper's mines—even inactive ones underneath structures—are taken by the Gravity Gun, they beep much louder and flash. Closed Captions mark it as "Mine captured."
- In Lost Coast, the Chopper acts like (and sounds like) a Gunship, and has a Gunship's capabilities, such as the ability to shoot down incoming rockets with the Gunship-style pulse turret. This is because the Chopper actually is a Gunship NPC that is set up to use the Hunter-Chopper's model.
- The Chopper gun mounted on the Airboat looks identical but sounds completely different.
- During the final fight with the Chopper at the end of Water Hazard and Riding Shotgun, it is possible to see the corpse of a crew member fall out of the Chopper after it has taken enough damage. However, this is entirely cosmetic. It has no effect on the actions of the Chopper itself—the gun does not stop firing nor does the aircraft fall to the ground.
- After acquiring the pulse rifle on the Airboat, it is possible (although tricky) to drive it past the barricade at the start of the level and return to the previous map (where the Chopper was seen chasing the player), and destroy the Chopper with the newly installed weapon. However, since the chase spans several maps, the player will find that each map actually contains its own Hunter-Chopper; each of them can be destroyed to allow the player to explore the levels more thoroughly.
- Although it may not be possible in the main game, the Energy Ball of the Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle can vaporize the Chopper.
The original Hunter-Chopper in the playable Half-Life 2 leak.
List of appearances
- Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
- Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (Non-canonical appearance)
- Source Particle Benchmark (Game files only) (Non-canonical appearance)
|Vehicles, vessels and transportation|
|Aperture Science transportation||Borealis · Teleportation|
|Black Mesa transportation||Black Mesa SUV · Black Mesa Transit System · Black Mesa truck · Rail cart · Teleportation|
|Black Ops transportation||AH-64 Apache · M44 cargo truck|
|HECU transportation||AH-64 Apache · Jet · M1A1 Abrams · M2A3 Bradley · M44 cargo truck · Osprey Heliplane|
|Combine transportations||Advisor Platform · Armored Personnel Carrier · Hunter-Chopper · Razor Train · Teleportation|
|Resistance transportation||Airboat · Mil Mi-8 · Muscle Car · Scout Car · Teleportation|
|Xen transportation||Alien Craft · Teleportation|
|Trainstations||City 17 Trainstation · Depot · Technical Trainstation|
|Other||Rail transport · Road transport|
|Black Ops (cut)||Osprey Heliplane|
|Combine (cut)||AirEx Truck · C-130 · Combine SWAT Truck · M2A3 Bradley · Merkava · Osprey Heliplane · School Bus|
|Resistance (cut)||Borealis · C-130 · Jalopy · Jet Ski · Osprey Heliplane · Submarine|
|Other (cut)||Digger · Stealth|